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How your BMI affects your sleep

I've written about the link between insomnia and body weight a few times. Now a study has found that the higher your body mass index (BMI), the less sleep you're likely to get.

The study looked at 6,344 men and women aged between 20-60 years of age with a BMI range of 18-40 (this range covers the classifications of underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese).

First of all, researchers once again found that women sleep more than men (regardless of BMI). Whilst the average man managed to get 6.6 hours, the average woman got 6.9 hours. This equates to women getting an additional 20 minutes of sleep each night.

Now to the nitty-gritty of the study. Researchers found that for both men and women, as BMI increases, sleep duration decreases. That being said, researchers found that sleep deprivation was more closely linked to higher BMI numbers in women, compared to men.

You may think that weight affecting sleep is obvious - however, only 46% of Americans are aware of the link between body weight and sleep, and only 26% consider sleep a factor when it comes to losing weight.

Source: Sleep Review

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Last updated: November 12, 2014

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • A. Marina Fournier
    January 27, 2012, 11:28 pm

    Before I married, I was up to 135 lbs. I slept poorly, and I was depressed (before the bipolar dx). I had had at least two bouts of 2-3 hrs a night most of the week, for several months.

    After I married, my weight shot up 15 lbs, and continued to creep up. Just before pregnancy, 192 lbs. At delivery, 198. After delivery, for a little while, about 175 (diabetic diet the entire pregnancy). Some of my worst years of insomnia, some aided by newborn feeding schedule.

    I am above 200 now, and having finally learned how to turn off my brain before sleeping, now sleep considerably better, but now have the problem of not being able to stay awake enough to start my day: I am awake a few minutes, my eyes close, and zonked again, several times over differing amounts of time. This is not good, either–and the sleep is not always restful, still.

    So not only YMMV, but it’s an average, not a certainty. My husband, whatever his weight, sleeps very well and easily, as long as he can breathe well, the temperature and humidity are reasonable, and the noise level down…except on planes without Halcion, or enough alcohol to knock him out.